Psalm 57:1-11 (1 Samuel 24:3-22), When David fled from Saul in the cave (11/2/12)
Saul and 3000 of his men came after David, who hid in a cave. Saul came alone into the cave to relieve himself, but David refrained from killing him. When he called out to Saul to show that he, David, was not
Saul’s enemy, Saul was remorseful and stopped trying to kill him. For a while.
This psalm that David wrote reminds me of the 19th
-century hymn, “How Can I Keep from Singing?”
What tho' my joys and comforts die? The Lord my Saviour liveth;
What tho' the darkness gather round? Songs in the night he giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, How can I keep from singing?
No matter what happened to David, he trusted in God and kept singing.
Psalm 30:1-12 (2 Samuel 7:5-16; 1 Chronicles 22:5-19), A song at the dedication of the temple (11/6/12)
King David wanted to build a house for God and for the Ark of the Covenant. God told him that it was not David who would build a house, or temple, for God, but rather God who would build a house, or dynasty, for David (1 Samuel 7:5-16). David accepted that, but he decided that at least he could provide most of the money and materiel against the day that his son Solomon would build a temple (1 Chronicles 22:5-19). He also wrote this psalm to be used at the dedication.
Psalm 60:1-12 (2 Samuel 8:13-16, 1 Chronicles 18), When David strove with Aram-naharaim and Aram-zobah, and Joab struck down 12,000 (11/7/12)
One good reason for not judging our neighbors is that we don’t actually know what’s going on in their lives. If you read 2 Samuel 8 and 1 Chronicles 18, David looks good. He defeats the Arameans and the Edomites, and he gets tribute money and territory. Joab seems to be along for the ride.
This psalm shows that David’s view of the battles and Joab’s part in them was much different, and much darker.
Psalm 51:1-19 (2 Samuel 12:1-14), When Nathan the prophet came to David (11/8/12)
King David stole Uriah’s wife, and then he killed Uriah to cover it up (2 Samuel 11). When God sent the prophet Nathan to rebuke him, David realized that he had committed a terrible sin (2 Samuel 12:13). David’s psalm of confession and repentance contains two of the most memorable verses in the Bible: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me,” and “A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
Random Walk in a Gallery of Religious Art, Step 56: 2 Samuel 12:1-7a, Nathan (or possibly Samuel) and David (or possibly Saul), maybe by Orazio Samacchini (8/17/15)
Psalm 3:1-8 (2 Samuel 15:13-23), When David fled from Absalom his son (11/9/12)
You know how I’m always telling you to read the Bible for yourself, and not believe what I, or your preacher, or your Sunday School teacher tells you? One good reason to read for yourself is that when a painting is mislabeled, you are apt to notice it. This reproduction from the Gamble family Bible is labeled “Samuel and David,” by Orazio Samacchini. I can’t find this painting, or any painting like it by Samacchini, on the web, so I suppose the label could be accurately reporting the name of the painting.
However, the problem is that the prophet Nathan is the one who confronted David, and we know that this is David because of the harp. I can’t find any scripture that talks about a confrontation between Samuel and David, and Samuel couldn't have visited David in the palace, because Samuel died while Saul was still king (1 Samuel 28:3, 1 Samuel 31:4). As we’ll see in the next step, Saul was the one in trouble with the prophet Samuel.
Whatever. The main point of this painting is that the prophet is able and willing to march right up to the king and say, “King, I have a message from God, and you are in trouble.” That point is completely correct, whether we are looking at Nathan and David or Samuel and Saul. In the next step, we’ll see why Saul was in trouble.
Previous Step. Next Step.
Possibly “Samuel and David” by Orazio Samacchini, from the Gamble family Bible, now in the private collection of Regina Hunter.
In the award-winning movie, “The Lion in Winter,” Eleanor of Aquitaine observes, “Every family has its problems.”
David had an affair with Bathsheba and murdered her husband, and his family life went downhill from there. His eldest son Amnon raped his own half-sister Tamar (David’s daughter by another wife), and his third son Absalom (Tamar’s full brother) murdered Amnon (2 Samuel 13). Absalom was an outcast for a while, but eventually he was allowed to reenter the king’s presence. Then Absalom started putting on airs and tried to usurp the throne, driving David out of Jerusalem and having sex with David’s concubines on the roof of his house, where everyone in Jerusalem would see it (2 Samuel 15-16). The moral of the story is, “Don’t teach your children lessons you would rather they didn’t learn.” Eventually Joab, one of David’s commanders, killed Absalom (2 Samuel 18). David wrote this rather forlorn psalm when he was on the run from his son Absalom.
More of The Rest of the Story
Week 1. Beginning of Life As We Know It
Week 1. More on the Beginning of Life As We Know It
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Abraham … But Not Lot
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Isaac…But not Ishmael or the sons of Keturah
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Jacob…But not Esau
Week 3. Joseph Preserves Two Nations
Week 4. Deliverance
Week 4. More on Deliverance
Week 5. New Commands and a New Covenant
Week 6. Wandering
Week 6. More on the Wandering
Week 7. The Battle Begins
Week 8. A Few Good Men...and Women
Week 9. The Faith of a Foreign Woman
Week 10. Standing Tall, Falling Hard
Week 11. From Shepherd to King
Week 12. The Trials of a King
Week 13. The King Who Had It All
Week 14. A Kingdom Torn in Two
Weeks 15 and 16. God's Messengers and The Beginning of the End
Week 17. The Kingdoms' Fall
Jeremiah, Prophet of the Exile
Story 19. The Return Home
in the Old Testament
Story 21. Rebuilding the Walls
Story 22. The Birth of the King
Story 23. Jesus’ Ministry Begins
Story 24. No Ordinary Man
Story 25. Jesus, the Son of God
Story 26. The Hour of Darkness
Story 27. The Resurrection
Story 28. New Beginnings
James, Brother of the Lord
John and Jude
Story 31. The End of Time
Copyright 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved. This page has been prepared for the web site by RPB.
The woodcut showing King David playing the harp is from the family Bible of
John O. Spencer and Lydia Bunn, married 18 Nov. 1857 in Hector, Schuyler Co., NY.
A complete listing of the posted images from this Bible is given at
Ducks in a Row, Inc.
Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the
author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the
Bible-study participants. Thanks to the
Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers
for their support and enthusiasm. All
errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.
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